Criminal background check?


Overthinking can be surprisingly beneficial. :slight_smile:

But in this case, yes, the answer is no. :2cents:


Okay. And thanks. And yeah I can’t help but try to cover the bases. Out of curiosity what would happen if you just told them you were there to look for work? Would they deny you entry?


There are plenty of foreigners coming to Taiwan for tourism and ended up teaching English.
There is nothing wrong about it.
(You are not coming from South East Asia, do you? Then, it’s fine)


Right. But i’ve always been told to not tell immigration i intend on working otherwise i would be denied entry. Thus my initial worry about submitting a form to their embassy here in the US that clearly states that I intend to teach english :stuck_out_tongue:


@IulusGrun Who told you that? You’re not flying into North Korea. Immigration will barely glance your way once you land. They’ll just stamp you, maybe sleepily ask you a routine question or two, and then wave you through. Immigration cares about drug smugglers and that kind of thing. They’re not going to deny entry to someone based on such a silly reason. When I came here to work I got a 90 day tourist VISA while I secured my Uni job and then went to get my ARC. There’s no problem, dude. @yyy , I know what you’re saying and I agree it’s great to be prepared, but I do think one creates unnecessary worry for him or herself if that “overthinking” starts to cause them anxiety and frayed nerves.


you are an American. No one gonna ask weird questions like “what you gonna do in Taiwan?”
“Where you gonna stay?”
“Who covers the bills?”
“What do u do back home?”
“Where’s your itinerary?”

Unless of course, you are a South East/South Asian. You could get these kind of questions… repeatedly… not with cute curiousity but suspicious investigative tones.

I know at least an Australian guy who lived for a few months doing nothing, staying through couchsurfing in several different places around Taiwan. No plans, no income, basically nothing.


For sure.

I was getting that assumption based off of a couple sites:


as well as a thread from years ago on here of someone saying that you can be denied entry if you tell them you plan to work (will have to find it)… Figured it was like US/UK immigration where they really. really. really want to make sure you aren’t there to work.

but then again, people come here on 90 day visa-exempt with work permits already in place with companies I’m thinking… so yeah, hoping they’re not connected


All countries appear “threatening” in fine print when it comes to foreigners working illegally.

It’s what happens in practice, not in theory. Sure, you don’t tell officials: “Hey, I’m American and I’m working under the table.”

Westerners are rarely deported in the ROC. In the rare cases of deportation of an American, Canadian, Australian …it was because of something blatantly illegal/more-than-stupid decision on their part.


And we should remind everyone that we’re not talking about working under the table. If you’re a visitor, you’re not obligated to stick to an itinerary, North Korea style. You’re allowed to meet people and explore the possibilities of what it might be possible for you to do in the future on the beautiful island, and one of those future possibilities, naturally, might be finding a job and working legally. So no worries. :slight_smile:


Good news, an official from WDA gave a great deal more detail on the requirements for the background check. If we have made any factual errors, please let us know and we will correct them.

The new background check for foreign nationals only applies in the following circumstances:

Cram schools only, not other types of schools.
Teachers applying for cram schools for the first time, not teachers already working at cram schools.
Teachers who have applied since June 16 or have yet to complete their application process from an earlier date.

Cram school background check requirements for foreign nationals:

Generated within the past six months.
Proof that there is no record of criminal offenses.
Record for whole country of origin.
Paper version submitted by the relevant government agency on its official letterhead.
Verification by TECO only required for 25 listed countries.


Oh wow… So it is an FBI background check. Looks like I got caught in that window then. Thanks TaiwanNews.

Now I’m wondering if they will accept an FBI check through a channeler (some do, some don’t) … otherwise it looks like I’m screwed… what a headache


@IulusGrun The last channeler I used gave me a fully legitimate FBI background check. Complete with an official FBI stamp and signature from an approved agent… Or whatever technical term I should use.

Then I got the translation and certificate of authentication from the Department of State. As well as a couple other things I can’t recall. I was handed most of it back except the background check, and I think the official translation too. Wasted a bunch of time.

Short story, they should accept it as long as the document has an official FBI marking on it.


Wow, the article is so different from the trash I had recently come to expect of Taiwan News! :slight_smile:

According to a separate regulation that went into effect on November 1, only cram schools that have registered with the government that they will teach language course can hire foreign teachers, and cram schools can only hire foreigners to teach language courses, no other subjects.

That was just a statement of what was already true, not a new regulation coming into effect.

Thank you for this update, and keep up the good work. :thumbsup:


That was my suspicion: just buxibans.

I just saw a new job opening for GEOS, teaching mostly adults and some minors. The requirement section doesn’t mention “good conduct certificate”, but a cram school down the list surely does (As of June 14, 2017, …).

I suppose if the bulk of the students aren’t minors, you’re not required to do a background test. But GEOS is not technically a buxiban, just because minors can learn English there after school.


Should I still get a translation/authentication from Dept of State then if they aren’t asking for it?


That’s not what the new law says.

But GEOS is not technically a buxiban, just because minors can learn English there after school.

A business is a buxiban if it’s registered as a buxiban (and sometimes even if it’s not). An after-school “tutoring center” or similar place is most likely a buxiban, whether it calls itself that or not. If in doubt, ask about the registration (and if still in doubt, look it up at


At the very least, it would be good for the economy! :wink:


I honestly can’t answer that, I was a little shocked and surprised when the lady at the front desk handed me back my authentication from the Dept of State. I spent time and money getting it, several websites said you need one if you use a channeler. That day, as usual, I was in a time crunch too and expected the next person to receive my documents would’ve asked for it. Nobody did, I was approved, the end.

I had way more documents than necessary. But you can’t get around the translation, you’ll need that. I had mine done for $20 and it was ready within a few hours.


Got ya.
Is the translation a translation of the background check itself or of the authorization?
Also is a translation something I can get once I’m over in Taiwan as long as I already have the background check?

Thanks for your help everybody really… this is such a last minute change for me that is a huge headache :frowning:

  1. The background check itself.

  2. I’d like someone else’s input on this. I had my family back stateside give me a hand since they live near DC. Apparently there’s an upstairs in the Taiwan embassy that deals with translations. I had my background check sent to their address then they spent the better portion of a week running around setting up appointments.

But I did read somewhere of a man that claims he had his background check translation done by his wife. Mine had an official stamp and signature. I’m guessing someone will tell you to visit the AIT for a translation as I’m more than certain there’s many places here in Taiwan that will do the translation for you.